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It's Chili Time!

Written by 4/5/2010

Crowds line up to sample chili. Photo by Nick Deel '09

What could entice more than a thousand people to stand for hours outside in the cold of an Ithaca February? Chilifest.

At the 12th annual Great Downtown Ithaca Chili Cook-Off, 40 vendors, from Collegetown Bagels (their “Dragon Breath” chili won hottest) and Viva Tacqueria to Food for the Planet and Razorback BBQ, dished out hundreds of gallons of chili.

Lines were long but spirits high as festivalgoers sampled recipes featuring tofu, peanut butter, pumpkin, and cauliflower.

Between tastes, people got to ride a mechanical bull, sing karaoke, or compete in a Guitar Hero competition.

One event drew tears to most people’s eyes: a hot pepper-eating contest. But not the winner, a Cornell student who swallowed a jalapeno, a habanero, a Thai Chili, and a Red Fresno pepper in less than a minute without a hint of discomfort. Talk about dragon breath.

Fuse's Roving Reporter Mike Grippi '10 was there. Take a look:




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